The Obama administration loves its czars almost as much as the media loves using the title. So here goes: The U.S. Asian Carp Czar, also known as John Goss, says he has a multi-pronged strategy to help keep Asian carp from colonizing the Great Lakes. The czar, officially Asian Carp Director, lists poison and genetic engineering among possible solutions. Goss says in an interview with National Public Radio that these are long-term solutions. Right away, the game plan is to remove the carp from the Chicago area and strengthen an electric barrier that's supposed to keep the monster invasives from reaching Lake Michigan.
But Goss tells NPR that an Asian-carp specific poison is "one of the best hope that we have." He also see scientists experimenting with genetic engineering to alter the carp's digestive or reproductive systems.
How will this play in the Great Lakes? Will people be more concerned with chemicals or Frankenfish than the thought of an invasive fish outcompeting native species and threatening a $7 billion fishery?
Then again, the existing Great Lakes' ecosystem is so screwed up by another invasive, the quagga mussel, the carp may not find enough plankton to eat if they make it into the freshwater seas, scientists say.
More on Asian Carp
Asian Carp Solution for the Great Lakes? Bring on the Pelicans!
Was it Worth It? One Asian Carp Found After Six Miles of River Poisoned in Illinois
Interview with Lindsay Chadderton, the Scientist Who Discovered the Asian Carp DNA Beyond the Barrier